Shelf Control is a weekly celebration of the unread books on our shelves created and hosted by Lisa @ Bookshelf Fantasies. Pick a book you own but haven’t read, write a post about it (suggestions: include what it’s about, why you want to read it, and when you got it), and link up! For more info on what Shelf Control is all about, check out Lisa’s introductory post, here.
A Blade So Black
by L.L. McKinney
The first time the Nightmares came, it nearly cost Alice her life. Now she’s trained to battle monstrous creatures in the dark dream realm known as Wonderland with magic weapons and hardcore fighting skills. Yet even warriors have a curfew.
Life in real-world Atlanta isn’t always so simple, as Alice juggles an overprotective mom, a high-maintenance best friend, and a slipping GPA. Keeping the Nightmares at bay is turning into a full-time job. But when Alice’s handsome and mysterious mentor is poisoned, she has to find the antidote by venturing deeper into Wonderland than she’s ever gone before. And she’ll need to use everything she’s learned in both worlds to keep from losing her head . . . literally.
I’m not usually drawn to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland retellings, despite the fact that it’s one of my favourite classics, because I feel like they’re rarely done well. Mental asylums are usually brought in at some point and I just find it all a bit… lazy? It’s such a bonkers story that I think it’s a shame we so often try to normalise it in retellings.
I’ve been interested in A Blade So Black since its release, though, not only because it’s the first time I’ve seen Alice written as a woman of colour, but because it sounds like such a fresh and unique take on the story. I’ve seen so many great reviews and considering 2019 has been such a strong retellings year for me, I’d love to try and fit it in before 2020!
What are some of your favourite retellings?
My reading for the Reindeer Readathon continues, and I’m pleased to say I completed Comet for another 20 points for Team Mistletoe!
I finished Hallie Rubenhold’s The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper last night and it’s the best book I’ve read this year and, to be honest, one of the best books I’ve ever read. A phenomenal game-changer of a book. Look out for my review!
I’ve ended up straying away from my original TBR. The prompt for Dancer is to read a book which has a major theme of music or dance and I was initially going to listen to the audiobook of Daisy Jones & The Six, but instead I ended up picking up Naomi Kritzer’s Fires of the Faithful which I’ve been meaning to read for a few months. I read Kritzer’s Hugo Award-nominated novelette, The Thing About Ghost Stories, earlier this year, and I’ve been keen to read this f/f fantasy novel which I believe is Italian-inspired and also features religious persecution which, weirdly, I find fascinating in stories. The main character is at a conservatory of music, so it fits the prompt!
Again I’m thinking of straying away from my prompt for Donner (a book with a beautiful cover) to read Michelle Harrison’s A Pinch of Magic, another book I’ve owned and have been meaning to read for a while now and that cover is stunning! This is MG fantasy about sisters, witchcraft and a family curse and it sounds wonderful and whimsical.